Louise Raggio Dies, Fought Laws Requiring Husband’s OK for Wife’s Legal Transactions

A trailblazing Dallas lawyer who helped change discriminatory Texas laws has died.

Louise Raggio died Sunday at the age of 91, the Dallas Morning News reports. She was instrumental in repealing Texas laws requiring a woman to get her husband’s signature before filing legal documents, borrowing money or transferring land.

Raggio originally attended law school with the goal of learning enough to teach business classes in high school. “I didn’t start out to change the world,” Raggio had said.

She went on to become the first female assistant district attorney in Dallas County. She earned $350 a month in1954, half the pay of her male colleagues, the story says. She made news when she won a conviction with an all-woman jury soon after Texas first allowed females to serve as jurors.

The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession honored Raggio in 1995 with its Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. She was also a former chair of the ABA Family Law Section.

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